Jane Yolen – Curses! Foiled Again
Read my review of book:
Length: 176 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Started/Finished: 10 July 2015
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I loved the first one, but somehow in the intervening three years between when I read it and when the second one came out I forgot about it, then was reminded when I spotted it at the library.
not think she’d ever have to
fence actual trolls.
Summary: Aliera Carstairs has had a little bit of time to get used to her new role – in the real world, she’s a high school student and champion fencer, but it turns out her ugly practice foil is actually a magical sword, and she’s the last Defender of Faerie. She’s also slowly coming to terms with the fact that her cute and popular lab partner Avery is really a troll in disguise, a defector from the Unseelie Court who has pledged himself to protect Aliera whether she wants it or not. But she doesn’t yet realize how dangerous Faerie can be, especially when it starts to interfere with things that she’s always taken for granted in the human world.
Review: This book was just as much fun as the first one. I read the first one while I was in a bit of a streak of reading Faerie-centric books (Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, and Holly Black’s Modern Tales of Faerie, while I’ve read relatively few in the intervening five years, and none since Among Others last year. So I don’t have the Seelie vs. Unseelie Court on the brain now nearly as much as I did then, but I easily got back into the swing of things, and had a bunch of fun with this book. I loved that the story was structured like a fencing match, I loved that Baba Yaga showed up, I liked that we’re getting more into Faerie proper and learning more about who the Defender is and what she’s defending against, I enjoyed Avery’s character growth over the course of the story (although I thought that the whole “he’s a troll who doesn’t understand human behavior” was a little out of keeping with his portrayal as the cool popular new kid in the first book.) I also really like the artwork – the contrasting use of grayscale for the human world (Aliera is colorblind) and bright color for the inhabitants of Faerie is an interesting conceit and Cavallaro uses it in some very cool ways. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: The first part of the book is a pretty thorough recap of Foiled (which was much appreciated, given the length of time since I’d read it), but the first one’s so great that you should really start at the beginning. Good fun for fantasy fans young and old.
Other Reviews: Bart’s Bookshelf, Puss Reboots, Shooting Stars Mag, Teach Mentor Texts, and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
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First Line: Aliera Carstairs thought she had it all figured out.
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